While the value of having a solar-powered home might seem self-evident -after all, energy prices are only going up so your solar power systemwill save you more and more money every year – there has been an openquestion as to just how much a solar power system would increase ahome’s value at resale time. A new study published by the LawrenceBerkeley National Laboratory titled, An Analysis of the Effects of Residential Photovoltaic Energy Systems on Home Sales Prices in California, is a significant step toward answering that question.
The report, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the NationalRenewable Energy Laboratory and the Clean Energy States Alliance, looked at the sale of some 72,000 homes in California of which approximately2,000 had solar power systems installed at the time of sale. Theresearch found a substantial premium for solar-powered homes rangingfrom a low of $3.90/nameplate DC watt to as high as $6.40 with mostmodel assumptions coalescing near $5.50/watt. For existing homes, thepremium was even higher – ranging from a low estimate of $6.00 to$7.70/watt. (As all of our residential work involves existing homes, we found this conclusion particularly encouraging!)
Given that residential installation costs are currently running inthe $6.00 – $7.50/watt range, this means that for the typicalresidential solar installation in the Run on Sun service area, the solar premium on home value more than exceeds the total cost of installing solar even before rebates and tax incentives are included. There is no other home improvement that would provide such a 1-for-1improvement in your home’s resale value while simultaneously resultingin thousands of dollars in savings over the years that you continue toown the home.
Whether it is to increase the value of your home at resale time, orto dramatically cut your energy costs, or to simply green your home andbe more environmentally conscious, a residential solar power systemcontinues to make more and more sense. As in dollars and cents.